Last month we were talking to long time Boracay resident Claude Gindrat from Switzerland. He told of how his first visit to our Island came about.
He was sitting next to a passenger on an international flight and struck up a conversation with a German guy who asked where he was going. Claude had been travelling extensively around Asia on a long vacation, but wasn't sure where to head to next. His newly found passenger friend suggested a place he had never heard of before. Boracay Island.
Being adventurous, Claude decided to give it a try as the German guy seemed to know what he was talking about when he described the tropical paradise island. Not surprising now, as the guy was one Dieter Schrotman (founder and builder of Mandala Spa...)
So Claude decided he would make his way from Manila down to what he now calls home.
It wasn't easy back then. Very few people had even heard of the island. One travel agent suggested he speak to the military as they had the most up to date maps at the time. Sure enough, a helpful naval officer told him where it was and how to get there.
Claude managed to find a an old boat that was carrying goods from Manila Bay down to a place called New Washington, Aklan. The trip was 36 hours at the time. Then he took a trike to Kalibo. And found a Jeepney going to Navas, where a friendly boatman brought him across to Boracay.
That was in Feb 1981. Back in the Day...